Mieczysław Weinberg: Between East and West

University of Manchester, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, 24-27 January 2019

Call for Papers

Deadline: midnight (GMT), Sunday 14 October 2018


Recent years have witnessed a dramatic rediscovery of the music of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996), the Polish-born composer who twice escaped from Nazi invasions and finally settled in Moscow. His substantial output includes some of the most powerful Holocaust-commemorative music ever written, notably his Auschwitz-based opera, The Passenger, dubbed a ‘masterpiece’ by Shostakovich.

The four-day conference at the University of Manchester marks the beginning of Weinberg’s centenary year. It brings together scholars and practitioners from East and West, with the composer’s first daughter, Victoria Bishops, as Guest of Honour. The conference is co-sponsored by the British Academy and dovetails with a cycle of his seventeen string quartets, to be performed at intervals throughout the event by the Quatuor Danel, artists-in-residence at the University.

Proposals are invited for papers (20 minutes) re-considering any aspect of Weinberg’s life and work. Topics may include, but will not be restricted to:

  • Weinberg’s multiple identities (Polish/Jewish/Soviet Russian/humanist)
  • his reputation in his lifetime and afterwards, both in Russia and the West
  • personal and musical relationships with other composers and cultural figures
  • intersections between music, theatre and film
  • recent developments in biographical, archival and analytical study.

Proposals are invited from specialists and non-specialists alike, and should include a short abstract (c. 250 words) and biography (c. 100 words). They will be considered by the co-convenors, Professor David Fanning (University of Manchester) and Dr Michelle Assay (Université de Paris Sorbonne).  Please send by midnight (GMT) on 14 October 2018 to: david.fanning@manchester.ac.uk and michelleassay@gmail.com. The full conference programme will be announced by 1 November.

Delegates will be charged a modest registration fee, to be confirmed, which will include tickets for all five Quatuor Danel concerts, as well as associated workshop and concert performances.

Michelle Assay

David Fanning